Learn to balance work and life, and take satisfaction in that Shabbat day of rest

By Debra Israel

Every week at Shabbat services, we read that God finished all of the work of creation in six days and took a day of rest.

We also take a day of rest, for this reason, on the seventh day.

This spring, I started thinking more about the idea that we need to “finish our work” in order to take our day of rest.

In our busy world, with many demands on our time and indeed many things we each want to accomplish — for work, family, friends, creativity or social justice — it is difficult to imagine feeling as if our “work” is ever finished.

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The People of the Book can always benefit from a good group study session

By Betsy Frank

Jews are known as the People of the Book.

We have a long tradition of studying our sacred texts. We engage with these texts alone and in groups.

Not only do Jews study these sacred texts as part of life-long religious education, but this tradition of studying has led many Jews to careers as academics and professionals.

Our parents have encouraged us and we have fostered learning in our children and grandchildren.

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Guided by mentors, Caitlin Brazner prepares to carry the flame forward, l’dor vador

By Student Rabbi Caitlin Brazner

My journey to rabbinical school began with a meaningful conversation with my mentor, Rabbi Educator Vicki L. Tuckman, zichrona livracha.

After a great day working alongside Vicki at URJ Camp Harlam, a Jewish summer camp in Kunkletown, Pa., we found ourselves sitting on her cabin porch around midnight as the stars rose over the Mahoning Valley.

I still remember her exact words: “You’re going to be a rabbi — you just don’t know it yet.”

I laughed it off; a well-intentioned but incorrect prediction, I thought.

Eight years later, as I wrap up my fourth year of rabbinical school, it would seem an “I told you so” may be in order.

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Don’t be like Aaron’s sons: Get vaccinated, mask up around others and make good choices

By Betsy Frank

As we have learned in the Torah and recounted in our second virtual Passover celebration this year, God gave the Israelites many choices once they were free.

They also experienced the consequences of their choices.

While God forgave many bad choices, a few came with extreme consequences. For example, God destroyed Aaron’s sons by fire.

During this past year many of us have questioned the quality of our freedoms.

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Restored freedoms come with responsibility to protect our health and the health of others, writes Betsy Frank.

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